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HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER FOR EMPLOYMENT – How To Write A Cover Letter For A Job

how to write a cover letter for a job

Writing a cover letter for employment gives you an opportunity to make a strong first impression. Through this letter, you discuss your qualifications in the most compelling way, demonstrate your enthusiasm and fit for the job.

Did you know that 41% of job seekers repeat their resumes in their cover letters? This is a huge mistake to avoid. Your cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it.

In this guide, we give you expert tips on how to write a compelling cover letter that gets you the job!

Before you continue reading, your success matters to us at IBS, reach out to us for personalized support. 

Read Also: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market

9 WAYS TO WRITE A COVER LETTER FOR EMPLOYMENT

1. Research the essential information

Preparation is key in writing a cover letter fit for employment. Creating time to research the essential pieces of information before you start writing will ensure you position yourself as the right employee your potential employer wants.

To start with, review the job description to check it with your qualifications and professional skills. Things to note in the job description include:

  • Notable accomplishments from previous jobs.
  • Any volunteer work where you gained skills listed in the job description.
  • Skills that match the required skills in the job listing. Include a mix of hard skills and soft skills.
  • Educational qualifications, including certificates and licenses.
  • Relevant awards and honors.

Furthermore, review the organization’s values, mission and culture so that you can prove to the hiring manager why you are a great fit. This will help you create a personalized cover letter that indicates your genuine interest in the company.

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You can research the name of the hiring manager so as to address your cover letter to them.

Read Also: Job Opportunities in the USA for Ghanaians

2. Use a professional header

The header you use while writing your cover letter for employment should be professional. It typically includes your name, address, phone number and address. Your header should be placed at the top of the page.

Cover letter headers follow the standard business letter format. A cover letter header typically includes your name, address, phone number and email address. It should be placed at the top of the page and aligned to the left or center.

Include your contact information

Place your name, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and email address in your cover letter heading. Your email address should be professional like “Jdoe@email.com,” and not personal like “soccermom45@email.com.” Include links to your LinkedIn profile or professional online portfolio if you have one.

Read Also: Job Interview Coaching for International Students Abroad

3. Include the recipient’s contact information

Use the information provided by your prospective employer for the recipient’s address.  First, write the current date followed by a space. If the description of the job you are applying for instructs you to address your letter to the HR department, you include the hiring manager’s name and title with the company address

Learn More: How to Check in After An Interview? Here’s How

4. Greet the hiring manager

You should greet the hiring manager by name to establish a personal connection. If you are not sure of their gender, you can use their first and last name.

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For example: “Dear (insert their full name).

If your research about the hiring manager’s name doesn’t turn up a name, then use “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Hiring Team.”

Avoid using “Mrs.” or “Miss” as these titles can imply you are assuming the hiring manager’s marital status. “Mr.” or “Ms” could still be accepted.

Avoid outdated salutations like “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”. Likewise, do not use informal greeting like “Hi” or “Hello.”

Some ways to greet acceptably include:

Dear Patrick Jude,

Dear Ms. Joanne

Dear Hiring Manager,

Dear Hiring Team

Pay attention to the capitalized letters when writing salutations.

Learn more: Three Questions to Ask After a Job Interview

5. Start with a compelling introduction

A good rule of thumb is to imagine yourself as the hiring manager and think about the words that will intrigue your interest from the introduction. The opening sentences of a cover letter act as your elevator pitch, introduce yourself with enthusiasm,

You should tell hiring managers why you are the best fit for the job in a clear and concise manner.

How do you do this?

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  • Demonstrate your interest in the vacant position in the company

You need a captivating introduction that confidently demonstrate how interested you are in the job.

I was intrigued by your recent vacant …… position ad, and I am confident that my skills and experience will make me a perfect fit for the role. 

 

  • Highlight your skills and experience

Another thing to include for a compelling introduction in your cover letter is to emphasize your skills and experience that are most relevant to this job. Briefly explain how your previous experience make you a great fit for the job.

In my role as a (mention your previous job), I (action or accomplishment) was able to showcase my (skill) abilities in accomplishing the project (what you did).

In my years of experience as a digital marketer, I was able to increase the income of the company by 50%. My experience has given me in-depth knowledge of digital marketing and know my way in the field.

Highlight measurable accomplishments

It is expedient to highlight your qualifications while writing the introduction in your cover letter. Endeavor to mention impressive awards and accomplishments your past roles. If you have done some research, mention some interesting facts about your work.

Mention a shared contact

If applicable, you can mention a shared contact that you have while writing your cover letter. This can help you to establish a personal connection with the hiring manager.

Richard Eric told me you had an opening on your digital marketing team, and  it thrills me to apply for the role. 

Learn more: Job Search Tips for Ghanaians in the UK, US and Canada

6. Craft the body paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your cover letter should explain why you’re the best candidate for the job. Follow the expert tips below to learn how to write a professional cover letter with engaging body paragraphs.

  • If you have work experience in your target role or industry, give details of your your work accomplishments.  Use numbers to quantify the results of your actions.
  • If it’s your first job application, connect the new opportunity with a personal or school project, extracurricular activity or internship.
  • If you’re changing careers, emphasize your transferable skills that can convince your potential employers.

Learn more: Stand out in the International Job Market

7. Write the closing paragraph

To close the paragraph of your cover letter, make it known to the employer how excited you are about the possibility of working with them. Make it clear that you are competent and confident to be a valuable asset to their company.

Since you are addressing a cover letter to a specific person, remember to thank them for their time and consideration.

Remember to add a “call to action” in your closing paragraph. This shows hiring managers how serious you are about the role.

Here is an example of a closing paragraph:

I would be glad if I am considered for this position. I have attached my resume and portfolio for further review of credentials and abilities. I am excited about this role and eager to speak to discuss my ideas with you and your team.

Thank you for taking time to review my application. I look forward to seeing your favorable response.

Learn more: Career success Strategies for Ghanaian Studying abroad

8. Sign-off formally

In completing a well-written cover letter, you need to sign off to show professionalism and respect for the person addressed in the letter.

Some of the acceptable sign-off language includes:

  • Your Sincerely,
  • Best regards,
  • Kind regards,
  • Thank you,
  1. Proofread your work

It is important to proofread your cover letter after writing before sending it to your potential employer. You can forward it to someone else to read for you too, it can be a family member, a trusted friend, colleague or mentor.

Proofreading your cover letter reduces your chances of getting hired. You could ask for corrections or criticism in relevance, clarity, tone, grammar and spelling.

 

CONCLUSION

Writing a thoughtful and professional letter can help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for the position.

It serves as an opportunity for you to showcase your communication and writing skills, as well as your attention to detail and professionalism.

 

We are here for you anytime, reach out to us for a free consultation.

 

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